Over $900,000 in awards distributed to BC Aboriginal students

December 8, 2015

Over 300 BC Aboriginal students will share more than $900,000 in awards for college and university education this year.

VICTORIA – More than 300 Aboriginal post-secondary students in BC will benefit from nearly a million dollars distributed by the Irving K. Barber British Columbia Scholarship Society this year.

The Society has granted $985,000 to 303 Aboriginal students in BC to support their studies at post-secondary institutions throughout the province.

The Society’s Aboriginal Student Awards program is funded from the returns on an endowment fund established by the Province of British Columbia. It was created to assist in removing barriers to higher education for Aboriginal peoples. Awards of $1,000 to $5,000 each are issued every year through a competitive process to students studying at all post-secondary levels, from trades training to doctoral programs.

“Aboriginal people are a vital part of the future of British Columbia and contribute to our diverse, growing and strong economy,” said Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson. “Awards for 303 students will increase the retention and completion rates for Aboriginal students studying at all levels throughout our post-secondary education system.”

Vancouver Island University student Lianne MacWatt understands well the impact the scholarships can have. “The Aboriginal Student Award I received is enabling me to concentrate on what is important for me: my education. Your generosity has allowed me to be one step closer to my goal, and has inspired me to help others by giving back to my community.”

It’s also clear that the award inspires many of its recipients. “I look forward to one day being able to give back and help others achieve higher education,” says MacWatt.

“The Irving K. Barber British Columbia Scholarship Society is privileged to distribute the Aboriginal Awards annually. These awards assist deserving Aboriginal students, whether they are completing trades training, enrolling or finishing courses for a baccalaureate degree, or pursuing a masters or doctoral degree,” says Society chair Hugh Gordon.

The Irving K. Barber BC Scholarship Society provides scholarships and awards to students attending public post-secondary institutions throughout the province and internationally. Since its inception, nearly $10 million has been distributed to BC students from its six scholarship and award programs. The Victoria Foundation provides administrative support to the Society.

Editors Please Note: A list of 2015 Aboriginal Student Award recipients can be found at http://www.www.ikbbc.ca/news.

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Media contact:

Rory Grewar, Program Director, Irving K. Barber BC Scholarship Society
Phone: 1-844-478-4645 | Email: rgrewar@ikbbc.ca